Pigs scattered over Wargrave, Knowl Hill and Crazies Hill

When food was in increasingly short supply, some turned to keeping pigs.

The Wargrave Pig Club

The Annual Meeting was held on the 13th February. The Report and Balance Sheet were presented showing a balance on hand on 31st December last of £31 2s. 4d. The following is a copy of the Report:-

“The Wargrave Pig Club was formed at a meeting held in the Parish Room on 4th April, 1918, when the Officers and Committee for the year were elected. The membership has reached a total of 79, and at one time there were 290 pigs registered on the Club books.

The Parish Council gave permission for two rooms in the old District School buildings to be used as a store, and arrangements were made for members to attend there on Friday evenings to purchase pig food. The food has been procured by certificates issued by the Livestock Commissioner, and although there has sometimes been difficulty in getting the necessary quantity from the millers owing to the general shortage, there was only one week when millers’ offals were unobtainable. That however did not mean that the pigs were without food altogether, for, thanks to Mr. Bond generously advancing money with which to buy other kinds of pig food in large quantities, the Club had a good supply of unrationed pig meal in store, and the Committee were enabled to “carry on”. Altogether over 36 tons of feeding stuffs have been dealt with.

Mr. Bond has had erected at his own expense six capital sites on the Station Road Allotment ground which he has agreed to let to members of the Club at the low rent of 5s. a year. Five of these sites have been occupied. He also advanced money with which to purchase young pigs. 33 pigs have been so bought and resold to members at the actual cost price.

Sir William Cain provided the sum of £6 for prizes for the best bacon hog. Mr. A.B. Booth £3 3s., for porkers, and Mr. Bond £3 as extra prizes. Mr. Rose and Mr. A’Bear acted as judges, all the pigs being viewed in their own sites. The prizes were distributed at a meeting of the Club members on 3rd December.

The competing pigs being scattered over Wargrave, Knowl Hill and Crazies Hill, it occupied the judges the whole of one day for inspection. The Committee offer them their sincerest thanks for undertaking this work.

One of the objects of the Club is the insurance of pigs and although 27 members paid premiums, the Club only had one claim to settle.

Wargrave parish magazine, March 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

“I feel that I have lost a friend in addition to a very gallant officer”

There was sad news for a number of Wargrave families.

The following names must be added to the Roll of Honour:-

Ogbourne, Harry.
Trooper 1st Life Guards, died of wounds due to enemy air raid, May 20th, 1818, aged 24. He was the youngest son of Mrs. Ogbourne, widow of John Ogbourne of Wargrave. He was educated at the Piggott School, Wargrave and the Knowl Hill School. Before the war, he was engaged as Assistant to the Lock-keeper at Shiplake Lock. He volunteered in October, 1914. He was sent to France in May 1915, and with two short periods of leave, he remained there until his death. His Squadron Leader gave him a most excellent report.

Sinclair, Gerald John.
Captain, 1st Battalion The Black Watch, only son of John Sinclair, was educated at Rugby, and joined the Inns of Court O.T.C.in September, 1914, from there going to Sandhurst in January, 1915. He joined the reserve Battalion in Scotland, in July, 1915, and went out to France in April, 1916, where he was wounded in Peronne, in July. He returned to France the following January. He was 21 on March 21st, 1918, was killed in action on April 18th, and was buried in the Military Cemetery at Givenchy. His Colonel wrote “I feel that I have lost a friend in addition to a very gallant officer.”

Woodruff, Charles Herbert.

Lance-Corporal 2nd Royal Berks, killed in action between April 22nd and 27th, 1918, aged 24. He was the youngest son of Mrs. Woodruff, widow of George Woodruff, who was cowman at Scarlets for twenty-two years. He was a Piggott Scholar and on leaving school he went to work under a gardener. Before the War he was an under-gardener at the Lodge, Hare Hatch. He volunteered on August 30th, 1914. He was stationed in Ireland for three years with the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, but in 1917 he was transferred by his own desire to the Royal Berks in order that he might share in the fighting. He was sent to France, June 1st, 1917.


The following are the names of those who are now missing:-

Burton Haycock, John Frame, Frank Heakes, James Hes, Arthur Haycock.


The following are prisoners:-

Robert Burrough, Fred Hall, Albert Hodge, Henry Wise, Charles Crampton, Jack Gieves, James Pithers, George Woodruff.

O Lord, look down from heaven, behold, visit, and with the eyes of thy mercy, give them comfort and sure confidence in Thee, defend them from the danger of the enemy, and keep them in perpetual peace and safety; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Wargrave parish magazine, August 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

“Let us help, how, when, and where we can, but let us do our bit”

Wargrave women worked hard providing medical supplies for wounded soldiers, and their work inspired ladies across the country.

Wargrave: Surgical Dressing Emergency Society

An American Fete was held at Riverside Lawn, on July 1st, by kind permission of Mr. Cain, in aid of the Society’s funds. The splendid sum of £165 was realised. There is no space to mention all who helped to make the Fete a success, buyers and sellers all did their very best and those present represented a large gathering of interested friends, with a keen appreciation of the work being done at “Millwards” for the Casualty Clearing Stations in France, Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia.

There are now nine branches:-

Long Parish (Hants). Pangbourne.
Chigwall Row. Wimbledon.
Heswell (Cheshire). Peppard.
Shiplake. Ledbury (Gloucestershire)

Knowl Hill is part of the Wargrave branch.

Wargrave being the Head Branch is in direct communication with the Director General of Voluntary Organizations, New Scotland Yard, and is responsible for all the sterilization of Dressings and the packing of Bales.

The Bales are sent direct from Wargrave Station, (as Government Requisitions) to the points in the Firing Line, most in need of help.

Between the Dates of Oct. 19th, 1915 and June 19th, 1916:

1316 Kits of Sterilized Dressings
4989 Spare Bandages
2915 Comforts including Shirts, Pyjamas, Slippers, Tooth Brushes, Soap, etc., etc., have gone out to help out Wounded, straight from the Trenches or Field.

Several Emergency Calls, including one last week for 200 made swaps, and another for 200 Wargrave Surgical Oakum Pads (a special request from the Front) were filled, in each case the Bales left Wargrave Station 24 hours after the call was received.

Medals were awarded through Miss Choate, as head of the Society, to Members of Wargrave and also Members of the Branches, who had worked 100 hours in three months. The list of names will be printed in the next month’s Magazine.

The work of the Society is growing, so alas is the number of Wounded. We are glad of Comforts, especially socks and warm winter garments. One pair of socks, one shirt will comfort one Wounded Man. Let us help, how, when, and where we can, but let us do our bit.

Wargrave parish magazine, August 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

“The men are thoroughly in earnest”

The villagers of Knowl Hill were contributing to the war effort in various ways.

Knowl Hill

Collections for the Waifs and Strays Society on Christmas Day and the 26th.

Ought we not to try earnestly to make as good a present of ourselves to our Lord in Holy Eucharist at Christmas, and thus shew we greatly value the new Birth for mankind, which was so greatly needed: The Incarnate Son of God – once a Waif and Stray.

The Waifs and Strays Society is doing excellent work for Orphans of Soldiers killed in the war.

Berkshire Volunteer Defence Reg: Maidenhead Battalion, Littlewick and Knowl Hill Section

The drills in connection with the above have been very well attended and the men are thoroughly in earnest in their work. On the 8th and 22nd November paraded with the Battalion at Maidenhead to proceed to Didcot to assist in loading and unloading the railway trucks at the A.O.C. Depot there. A Church Parade was held on the 15th and was well attended. The section is still open for recruits.

Drills. Wednesday, 7 Recruits
7.30 Section
Thursday 8.15 Section

Knowl Hill Church Lads’ Brigade

The usual drills have been held but have not been very well attended.

The Church Parade to Knowl Hill was only poorly attended on account of the weather; the one to Littlewick Church was fairly well attended.

It is hoped that the drills will be more regularly attended even if the nights are dark.

It is thought possible to change the Company into a Cadet Corps still under the government of the C.L.B.

Mr Butterworth will be glad to receive the names of all the men of the Parish serving, wounded, missing, etc., so that a complete list may be drawn up for Roll of Honour.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Collections for Belgian soldiers

The Knowl Hill section of the Wargrave parish magazine reported generosity from its small and poor congregation towards needy Belgian soldiers.

Nov. 7.
We were much pleased that the collections in the churches on behalf of the Belgian Soldiers during the winter campaign amounted to £2 0s. 2d. Our congregations lately have been very small, smaller far than they should have been – and we have hardly any worshippers who are at all well off. The £2 0s. 2d. we are thankful to say was increased to £4 1s. 2d., through the Christian zeal of parishioners who collected in the district. A very grateful acknowledgement has been received by the Vicar from the Secretary of the Belgian Soldiers’ Fund.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

A sham fight in Maidenhead

Men in Littlewick and Knowl Hill were enjoying themselves playing at soldiers, but the Church Lads’ Brigade for boys had had etbacks, and perhaps a diminution of enthusiasm.

Berkshire Volunteer Defence Regiment: Maidenhead Battalion: Littlewick and Knowl Hill Section

The Section has made good progress and the attendance has been very praiseworthy.

On October 7th the Members marched to Maidenhead to the Town Hall, for a concert got up by friends for the Battalion.

On October 9th the Section, together with some of the Members of the C.L.B., took up a position to defend The Green against an attack made by the Maidenhead Cadets. It proved to be a very interesting and instructive afternoon and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The Members expect to receive their uniforms within the course of a few days.

The Section is still open to receive recruits – Age 17 and upwards.

Wednesday, 7 Recruits
7.30 Section
Thursday, 8.15 Section.

Knowl Hill Church Lads’ Brigade

The work of the Company has once more been interrupted. The sickness has caused a temporary set back, but now matters are on the mend again. Once more we hope to be in full working order. The School has re-opened and out Sunday Class has commenced once more

On Saturday, October 9, some of the boys joined with the Volunteer Defence Corps against the Maidenhead Cadets in a sham fight.

The Buglers and Drummer are now receiving proper training for their work at Maidenhead.

We have lost six Members and therefore is room for six recruits.

Wargrave parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

A voluntary gathering

The Church Lads and volunteers for local service were still around in Knowl Hill.

Knowl Hill: Record of the Past
Oct. 31.
We were glad to see some of the Home Defence Soldiers and Church Lads’ Brigade at the Morning Service. It was a voluntary gathering. The weather was deplorably discouraging. We hope we shall have a larger muster another Sunday.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Recruits wanted for musketry and drill with the Volunteer Defence Regiment

An enthusiastic band of volunteers for home defence had been formed in Littlewick and Knowl Hill.

Berkshire Volunteer Defence Reg: Littlewick and Knowl Hill Corps

The drills in connection with the above have commenced. Musketry instruction forms the most important part of the work at present.

We are still in want of several recruits.

Drills: Wednesdays 7.0 and Thursdays 8.0.

It is hoped that those who intend to join will do so at once as it is necessary to become efficient as early as possible. All over 17 years are invited to join.

Wargrave parish magazine, October 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Harvest cigarettes for soldiers

Harvest, normally a joyous affair, could not be the same for a nation at war. The Harvest gifts at Crazies Hill in Wargrave included a generous supply of cigarettes, intended for the troops.

Knowl Hill

It will be impossible to have this year anything like our usual enthusiastic Harvest Festival. Most of our adult male Choristers have joined the Army. Our greatly valued Choir Master will probably be absent on account of fever in his house. Some of our female Choristers will also be unable to help. However, a chastened Festival may be deeply blessed. The Vicar, in his sermons on the Sunday evenings lately, has been suggesting some needful thoughts derived from the accounts of the greatest of the Jewish Festivals, which are fulfilled in the Christian Church (see S. John VII, 37 ff). The Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the Harvest Month (Levit. XVI, 29 ff) should lead us to a confession of our unworthiness of Gods bounteous gifts. The social gathering of all sorts and conditions of men at the House of God (Deut. XVI, 14) should lead us to our “Holy Convocation” (Levit. XXIII, 36) There should be the fullest response amongst Christians to the overflowing love of God: as at the Feast of Tabernacles burnt offerings were sacrificed in far greater numbers than at the Passover or Day of Pentecost (see Numbers XXIX). The Name, the Feast of Tabernacles, should remind us of the Iraelites dwelling in booths (Levit. XXIII; Nehem. VIII) with the Tabernacle of God in the midst of them: to make them blessed, and a blessing at last in the Church of our Lord Who deigns to tabernacle in us (S. John I, 14). Yes, a subdued, thoughtful Harvest Festival may be an excellent preparation for the Festival of the In-gathering at the end of the Christian age, at which the reapers are the Angels (S. Matt. XIII, 39). At a time when we are so specially reminded of God’s mercies we should indeed “surely rejoice; and not ‘appear before the Lord empty”. “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord they God, which He hath given thee”. (Deut. XVI, 17; Rom. XII, 1).’

Crazies Hill Notes

The Harvest Thanksgiving Services were held on Sunday the 17th. The number of Communicants throughout the day was not as large as might have been expected. Except in this respect everything was in keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, and Crazies Hill acquitted itself in a manner worthy of the occasion.

A marked feature of the musical portion of the Services was the way in which the Congregation joined in the singing. It seemed as if everyone was singing; this gave a brightness, or rather a heartiness to the Services which was exceedingly cheering.

Too much praise could not be given to the many willing friends who, as early as the Friday previous, began the work of decoration. The results achieved well justified all the time spent in this labour of love. Indeed it would not be too much to say that the building was a picture – tall palms, miniature sheaves of corn, flowers, fruits and vegetables being arranged with great taste and very real skill. Very much gratitude is due to the kind friends who so generously sent the various gifts.

Dr. Batchelor, the Vicar of Cookham, preached at the Evening Service, when the building was more than filled to its utmost capacity. His sermon, with its allusions to the war, sent us home not only being greatly helped but cheered. We are all very grateful for his kindness in coming. We are also very grateful to a kind and generous parishioner who had the Doctor met at the Railway Station before, and motored back to Cookham after, the Service.

The offerings of tobacco, cigarettes and other things for our soldiers throughout the day resulted in a very large number of such gifts during the same week to respective families. The offerings were of a most liberal nature and were greatly appreciated. Offerings of a similar kind were made at the Children’s Service, and these were given to the sounded soldiers at Parkwood Auxiliary Military Hospital – some of the children carrying them over directly after the service and giving the presents themselves. A letter of appreciation of this kind and thoughtful act on the part of the children has been received from the Matron of the Hospital.

Wargrave parish magazines, October and November 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Dressings most acceptable for a Casualty Clearing Station in the Dardanelles

The Wargrave women toiling over making bandages and other medical supplies for wounded soldiers were gratified to find their products were appreciated at the Front.

Surgical Dressings

The Wargrave Emergency Society have pursued their labours with admirable perseverance and industry. We are very glad to be able to print the splendid record of the work done up to the present together with one of the many tokens of appreciation from the Front.

There is now a Parent Society in Wargrave with several daughter Branches. Knowl Hill did much to help and a flourishing Branch was established there. But unfortunately there came an outbreak of scarlet fever and they were obliged to stop working for a time. It was disappointing to the Workers and a great loss to the Society but we hope that the trouble will soon by overpast.

From Somewhere behind the Lines in the Dardanelles
Lt. Col. —– Casualty Clearing Station,
Dardanelles, Sept. 20th,
To Miss Ruby Bulkeley,
Surgical Dressings Emergency Society
(Maidenhead Branch)

I have received your parcel of Sterilized Dressings and Bandages quite safely today. Please accept my best thanks. I also received some sent from the Wargrave Branch, but I do not know where to write to thank for them and they were not acknowledged. Will you kindly convey my thanks, as I am not sure where Wargrave is.

These Dressings are most acceptable, especially for us as my clearing station happens to be so situated that the vast majority of wounded in the A—— Area come, through our hands, and when I tell you that after one action we had some 800 cases in less than 24 hours, many requiring operations, and practically all requiring to be redressed as only “First Aid” could be rendered previously, you will see that our requirements are really enormous and everything that kind friends at home can send us some in useful and are most welcome –

The other C.C.’s in this Area are the —–
The —– Australian – the —- and the —-.
(Making 5 C.C. Stations altogether)

The class of Dressings you sent us are in my opinion admirably suited to the work of the Casualty Cleaning Stations, but would not be useful to the Field Ambulance.

If your Society has more to spare, I shall always be glad to have some, and I feel sure you must help to relive the Government supply by helping us direct.
Believe me, yours truly,
Lt. Col. R.A.M.C.

Warm socks, shirts, pyjamas, and all gifts of warm things are gratefully received, to forward with the dressings. These wounded come straight from the Trenches and Battlefield, and warm clothing, clean and fresh is comforting.

Difficulties caused by the war

Knowl Hill Church enjoyed their Harvest services despite the problems of wartime.

Knowl Hill:

In spite of our difficulties, caused by the fever epidemic and the War, our Harvest Festival on October 3rd was, on the whole, very encouraging. The falling off in the number of Communicants was the worst sign. There were only 39 – considerably fewer than were present since 1909. We hope there is a satisfactory explanation. The best gift of God to the world is the fruitfulness of Christians, of which we are reminded at a Harvest Festival; and for which we should indeed offer up ourselves to Him in Holy Eucharist. The congregations at 11, 3, and 6.30 were large, though smaller than in brighter times. We wish especially to thank the offerers of flowers, vegetables and fruit, and the decorators who arranged them so tastefully in both our Churches…. The collections came to nearly £8, rather more than was received in 1914. The Vicar had most grateful letters from the Hospitals at Maidenhead, to which vegetables and fruit were sent.

Wargrave parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Hospitals in need due to the war

Worshippers at Wargrave parish church and Knowl Hill district church were encouraged to support the work of local hospitals, affected by the war.

It is planned for the Harvest Thanksgiving to be held on the 3rd of October in the two Churches. The Collections will be for the Hospitals at Maidenhead and Reading. Their need of help is specially great now, in consequence of the War. The sermons at the Parish Church will, it is hoped, be preached in the morning by the Rev. S. H. Austen Leigh, and in the evening by the Rev. A. A. Bull, Vicar of Waltham St. Lawrence. There will be Holy Communion at 7 in St Paul’s Church, and at 8.30 and Mid-day in the Parish Church.

Wargrave parish magazine (D/P145/28A/31)

Making surgical dressings

A small band of Wargrave women spent almost the full working week making bandages for wounded soldiers. Their pioneering example was followed by a number of other villages.

Surgical Dressing Emergency Society

The excellent work inaugurated and organised by Miss Choate, has greatly increased and is still developing. The ladies of the neighbourhood meet regularly five days a week at Millwards, where they manufacture surgical dressings from all sorts of materials that can be washed and sterilised.

A Branch has now been opened at Maidenhead under the direction of Misses Bulkeley, which is also supplied with sterilising apparatus. There is another Branch at Waltham St. Lawrence and another at Longparish in Hampshire. Surgical pillows etc. are made up at Crazies Hill and a great deal of work is done by the ladies at Knowl Hill.

Thanks are due to Mr. Burgess who has lent furniture to the tea room, to Mr Easterling for the tables, to the International Stores for empty cases, and to the Stationmaster of Wargrave (Mr Malpress) and all his staff who are helping the Society in every possible way in forwarding, collecting, and delivering parcels.

The Society are sending Dressings to France, Servia [sic], and the Dardanelles, and very grateful letters of thanks are daily received from those who sadly want them.

Wargrave parish magazine, September 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Hard to maintain schools and staff in wartime

The Knowl Hill section of Wargrave parish magazine reported on the latest efforts of the church and its people to support the war effort.

On September 5th the Collections will be for the Church Missionary Society. We must not let Mission work suffer, more than we can help, because of the War.

The Vicar has written to the Berks Education Committee for … a new ‘Supply Teacher’ to take the place of Miss White, who is engaged elsewhere. There has been no application for the vacant Assistant-ship. School staffs are very difficult to maintain in these war times.

After much trouble had been taken by the School Managers and Messrs Dulley and Lowe a letter was received from the Education Committee at Reading with an order that the re-decoration of the School was not to be done this year, on account of war expenses. The School buildings have, however, been disinfected and cleansed.

Wargrave parish magazine, September 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Left on the doorstep

The Knowl Hill Church Lads’ Brigade were delighted with an anonymous gift of the bugles they wanted.

Knowl Hill

The School Managers have been very busy of late… There is still anxiety about the School Staff. We were sorry to lose the services of Miss Hewitt, who had to return to her school at Swallowfield. For a short time, until the epidemic of scarlet fever and measles necessitated the closing of the School, we had good assistance from a Miss White, a Teacher from Reading. We trust that we shall be blessed with a sufficient and efficient School Staff when the School re-opens. This re-opening is of course dependent on the epidemic. It is a great distress to us that Mrs. Butterworth has been attacked with the fever, through lovingly nursing her child. We hope that she will soon recover.

As Mr Butterworth is unable to send his usual report about the Church Lads’ Brigade he has asked that the following information be given.

The Church Parades and Classes have been well attended during the past month. The receipt of the needed two bugles has given much pleasure. One was left at the School House doorstep. The donors wish to be anonymous, but they are most heartily thanked.

Wargrave parish magazine, August 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)